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                          "Famous" Semantics Words
                                    2018- 2019
            
sangfroid       (sang-FRWAW)    n.    [<French<Latin]
             
                       self-possession under stress; keeping one’s calm
                          when the pressure is on
           
                               Justin remained calm during the prosecutor’s attack
                                and replied to the questions with sangfroid.
       
                             (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1991.  On the
                               City Written test in 2019.)
 
curvature       (KUHRV-uh-chuhr)    n.    [<Latin]
             
                       a bending; the state of deviating from a straight line
           
                    The curvature of the brick path gave the garden a pleasing informality.
                 
                             (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1992
                              and in Paideia in 1995 - Shapes and Forms.)
     
savoir faire       (sav-wawr-FER), (sav-waw-FER)    n.    [<French]
             
                        ready knowledge of what to do or say in any situation
           
                                   Joe handled the problem with his usual savoir faire.
 
turducken       (tuhr-DUK-uhn)    n.    [<Asian geography + <English + <English]
             
                           a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck
                              stuffed into a boneless turkey
           
                                 Every Thanksgiving Mr. Selinger would share a turducken
                                   with the folks in the homeless shelter.
     
                                        (First known use of this word, 1982.)
 
gerund       (JER-uhnd)    n.    [<Latin]
             
                     in English grammar, a verbal noun ending in -ing
           
                        In the sentence "Learning can be fun." learning is a gerund.
                 
                             (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1990.)
 
ostentatious       (aws-tuhn-TAY-shuhs)    adj.    [<Latin]
             
                              showy; for the purpose of attracting attention
           
                                       Mrs. Howell’s purchase of a diamond-studded collar
                                        for her poodle was an ostentatious extravagance.
                 
                        (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1953, in Paideia in 1996 -
                          Synonyms and Antonyms, and in Spell It! in 2007 - Words from Latin.)
                          The noun form, "ostentation," first appeared in Paideia in 2005 -
                          All Dressed Up.  On the Colorado State Spelling Bee written test
                          in 1973, 1976, and 2010.)
 
Kilroy       (KIL-roi)    n.    [<Kilroy, a mythical World War II soldier whose
                                         name was was inscribed in unlikely places all
                                         over the world by American soldiers]
             
                     a transient soldier; an inveterate traveler
           
                    Rex is a regular Kilroy or Ulysses, traveling helter-skelter all over the world.
                 
                      (Kilroy was a championship word misspelled by Ben Holland of Hamilton
                       Middle School, runner-up at the 2018 Colorado State Spelling Bee.)
   
helminthiasis      
(hel-min-THY-uh-suhs)    n.    [<Latin]
             
                       infestation with or disease caused by parasitic worms
           
                               The calf’s emaciation and stunted growth was found
                                to be caused by helminthiasis.

                 
                          (The winning word for Angelina Holm of Denver School of the Arts
                            when she won the 2018 Colorado State Spelling Bee.)
 
pulque       (pool-KAY)    n.    [<Mexican Spanish<Nahuatl]
             
                       a milk-colored Mexican alcoholic beverage made
                        from the sap of various agave plants
           
                    The consumption of pulque has declined due to competition from beer.
                 
                     (Spelled correctly by Lauren Guo of Wayne Carl Middle School
                       at the 2018 Colorado State Spelling Bee.)
 
nihilism       (NY-uhl-iz-uhm)    n.    [<Latin]
             
                  a viewpoint that all traditional values and beliefs are unfounded
                  and that all existence is consequently senseless and useless  
           
                         The rock star’s lyrics were criticized vor advocating a bleak nihilism.
                 
                       (On the Colorado State Spelling Bee written test in 1972, 2000, and 2011.)
   
orangutan       (uh-RANG-uh-tang), (oh-RANG-uh-tan)    n.    [<Malay]
             
                               an ape of Borneo and Sumatra with shaggy
                                 reddish-brown hair and very long arms
           
                                                         The local zoo has a new baby orangutan.
 
vehemence       (VEE-uh-muhnts)    n.    [<French<Latin]
             
                            the state of being expressive of
                           strong emotion or intense passion
   
                              Norm’s vehemence of temper made him his own worst enemy.
                 
                             (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1953.  On the Colorado
                               State Spelling Bee written test in 1964, 1976, and 1981.)
  
colonnade       (kawl-uh-NAYD)    n.    [<French<Italian]
             
                           a row of columns, as along the side of a building
    
                   A colonnade surrounds and encloses the courtyard of the stately mansion.
    
                                     (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1953.)
   
fistmele       (FIST-meel)    n.    [<English + <English]
             
               the breadth of a fist with the thumb stuck up, used especially in
               archery to give the correct height of a string from a braced bow   
     
                                  The length of a  fistmele is about 7 inches..
                 
                             (On the Colorado State Spelling Bee written test in 1972 and 1985.)
   
skookum       (SKOO-kuhm)    adj.    [<Chinook]
             
                        marked by excellent quality; first-rate
           
                    Liz felt sure that the pail of blueberries would make a skookum pie.
                 
               (First appeared in Paideia in 1996 - Synonyms and Antonyms and again in 2006 -
                Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down.  On the City Written spelling test in 1986 and 1996.)
 
ermine       (UHRM-uhn)    n.    [<English<French<Germanic]
             
                   any of several brown weasels that assume white winter fur
           
                             Despite the outcry from animal activists, the fine white fur of
                             the ermine is still used to ornament some designer clothing.
                 
                             (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1953 and again
                               in 1988.  First appeared in Paideia in 1997 - Mammals. On
                               the City Written spelling test in 2019.)
   
fuchsia       (FYOO-shuh)   n.  [<German name,
                                                           (Leonhard Fuchs, German botanist)
]
   
                       vivid reddish purple
   
                    Marge picked out a beige blouse trimmed in fuchsia to wear to the party.
   
                      (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1964 and again in 1989.
                       First appeared in Paideia in 1995 - O Pioneers!  On the Colorado State
                       Spelling Bee written test in 1983.)
  

corymb       (KOHR-im)    n.    [<French<Latin<Greek]
   
                       a cluster of flowers
   
                        Each corymb of Queen Anne’s lace by the porch has a bumblebee on it.
   
                          (First appeared in Paideia in 1995 - Plants.  On the Colorado
                            State Spelling Bee written test in 2003.)
 
horsefeathers       (HOHRS-feth-uhrz)    n. pl. used as an interjection
                                                                             [<English + <English]
   
                                 nonsense; balderdash, baloney
    
                            My only response to your stupid accusation is "Horsefeathers!"
    
                                         (William "Billy" de Beck, author of the popular 1920s cartoon
                                          "Barney Google" is credited with coining this term in 1927.)
  
blurb       (bluhrb)    n.    [<coinage]
   
                   an advertisement, as on a book jacket, describing the content
     
                 If you want to know what this book is about, read the blurb on the book cover.
  
               (Coined by Gelett Burgess in 1907 for promoting his book "Are You a Bromide?")


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